24 September 2002


OldEricsays :- I discovered exercise when I was 56. I was'nt a couch potatoe by any means, I was reasonably active doing "things". At 56 I had, out of the blue, a heart attack which laid me low for quite awhile. I now have a dead area in the middle of my heart. On the plus side I learnt the rest of the heart was fairly good condition. The cause was probably a blood clot sticking in a narrow part of an artery. When I was on my feet again I asked the Specialist all the usual questions which he answered to the best of his ability and he finished with the word WALK, which I did. Every morning at 6.15am rain or shine for 20 months I walked. Never missed. I bought rainwear and went out even when the rain was horizontal. Pat would say "leave it this morning, its too stormy" I went, I walked. I would walk 4 to 5 kilometers. The hell was scared out of me. Somtimes I would be so tired I would stop 2-3 times coming up the hill on the last lap home. I walked until it hurt and then stopped. The Specialist had said walk up to the point of angina.
5 years after my heart attack I was in hospital again, but just for a check up. The heart was probed up through the main artery from the groin and the results logged. A sound scan was done also. The Cardiologist showed me the results, pointing out the dead area and the expanded small arteries round the dead area, carrying the blood to other parts to the heart. I'm felt lucky I walked and today I still feel lucky, I Walked.
After 20 months I was fit and although I would get tired as the day progressed I felt I had acheived somthing. I continued walking 3-4 times a week and have in the main, continued to do so ever since. Even now at 68. About 5 years ago I broke a tendon in my thigh lifting and turning with the load. The tendon would heal then I would damage it again---lifting. Scar tissue built up and it became a vicous circle. Visits to the doctor and therapy helped. Suggested advise did'nt. Eventually a new young therapist took over, Jennine, she was interested in sports medicine and she pin-pointed the problem. After her manipulation and advise my leg was much improved and stays that way although as she said "it would never be the same again". I hold much respect for her.
For the past 16 months I have been walking round "our" lake, 300 metres away as the crow flies. A kilometre by road. I drive down and park. The track round the lake is, so the signage says 3.62 kilometres around and I walk that 3-5 times a week. More on the lake later.

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